iPhone Block Calls

Need to block a specific phone number from calling or texting your iPhone? It could be telemarketers, spam text messages, or that crank that won’t stop calling and messaging. Nuisance calls are the bane of the modern age. Fortunately you can block specific callers on your iPhone, enabling you to avoid them safely without having to cut yourself off from the people you do want to talk to.

How to Block Calls on iPhone in iOS 9, iOS 8 and iOS 7

Blocking calls from any phone number on an iPhone running iOS 9, iOS 8 or iOS 7 is simple. Let’s imagine that you receive a call, hang up (or don’t answer), and then decide you want to block that person’s number and avoid being bothered by them in the future.

Simply go to your list of recent callers (open the Phone app, then hit the Recents tab at the bottom). Click the "i" symbol next to the unwanted number, scroll down and tap Block this Caller, then confirm your decision. You won’t be bothered with any calls, texts or FaceTime calls from that number.

When we tried calling an iPhone that had blocked us, we heard a single ring, and were then diverted to the O2 messaging service, where we recorded a message. But the iPhone didn’t ring, or show the number in its recent calls. We were able to find the voicemail in the end, but it wasn’t stored in the normal place, but in a special blocked folder - and we weren’t notified about the message being left.

Alternatively, go to the Settings app and scroll down to the Phone section. Scroll down again and tap Blocked, and you’ll see your list of blocked callers. Hit Add New and pick further numbers to block from your contacts list. You’d need to add the nuisance caller to your contacts list for this method to work, however.

View or Edit your Blocked List

You can see the contacts and phone numbers that you’ve blocked in Settings under Phone, FaceTime, or Messages:

  • Settings > Phone > Blocked
  • Settings > FaceTime > Blocked
  • Settings > Messages > Blocked

From this screen, you can add more people to your blocked list, or tap Edit to unblock someone.

Filter out iMessages from unknown senders

In iOS 8.3 and later, you can filter out iMessages from people who aren’t saved in your contacts. Go to Settings > Messages and turn on Filter Unknown Senders. When you open Messages, you’ll see a new tab for Unknown Senders. When you turn on this option, you won’t get notifications for iMessages from Unknown Senders.

How to block a number on an iPhone running iOS 6

The easiest thing to do is to update to iOS 8, which is free. If for some reason you can’t however, the following advice will work:

First, jailbreak that iPhone. We don’t actively recommend this, and we do recommend that you take time to weigh up the pros and cons. Now you need an app to do the job. There are several, including "Call Blocker" and "Call Bliss". You won’t find all of these apps on the Apple App Store - for some of them you’ll have to use the independent Cydia app store.

The blocking app we are going to use is called iBlacklist. It offers the ability to block calls and SMS messages from specific numbers, as well as all unknown numbers. Open up Cydia, then find, pay for and install iBlacklist. Restart your phone.

iBlacklist should now appear as one of your apps. Open it up, and click "Blacklists". Here’s you’ll find all your current blacklisted numbers - at this stage there won’t be any. To add one hit "Add new Blacklist", then add a number. You can do this via your recent call list - which is where you are most likely to find the culprit. You can also add in a contact, or manually put in a number. Once you’ve added a number, set the "Call" icon to "On". To block text messages do the same thing with the "Message" icon.

Now you need to configure what happens when a call comes in from that blacklisted number. Hit "Action to be performed" and choose an option. Options include blocking before your phone even acknowledges the call, sending back the engaged tone, sending the caller directly to voicemail, or automatically hanging up the call. Finally, hit the blue button to save your selections and that number is blocked.

How to block a hidden number: Use Do Not Disturb

Another option is to customise Do Not Disturb in order to silence calls from the contacts your phone doesn’t recognise. What you need to do is to go to Settings and scroll down the tool list until you find Do Not Disturb. Tap on it, then Allow Calls From, and finally tap on All Contacts. In this way you will receive calls only from those listed in your Contact list.

The problem with Do Not Disturb is that it will silence all the other numbers. You might miss an important call from a number that doesn’t appear among your contacts.